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What is a Unique Selling Proposition? (Plus How to Use It To Your Advantage)

Last updated on October 27, 2022
6 minute read
Key Takeaways

  • Find USPs by looking at what your business does best and why you’ve been successful.
  • Talk with your staff about USPs and how to communicate them to customers.
  • Always be on the lookout for new or changing USPs and update them accordingly.

Skill Level

Beginner, Intermediate

What makes your business unique? What key factors prompt your customers to choose your activities over your competitors? The first things that come to your mind are likely your unique selling propositions, or USPs.

USPs are the points that make your business different from others in the same industry.

For example, you might be the only kayak tour that is dog-friendly in your location. You allow people to bring dogs in the kayaks and you even offer dog treats and dog life jackets.

For some businesses, your USPs might be easy to find, but for many others, it can be trickier. Finding your USPs challenges you to go beyond common claims like “excellent service” or “small-group tours” to help you stand out from the crowd.

Below we cover how to identify your USPs and use them to your advantage both in marketing and internally with your team.

Finding Your USPs

Whether you have tons of ideas right off the top of your head or you don’t know where to begin, here are some easy tips to help you find your USPs.

Ask Yourself These Questions About Your Business

  • Do you offer a tour that nobody else does?
  • Is your business more sustainable than your competitors?
  • Has your business won awards or gotten certifications that no one else in the area has?
  • Do you engage directly with the local community?
  • Are your tours the only of their kind that are fully customizable or private?
  • For experiences that go to landmark destinations, are you the official business partner of that place or connected with it in some way?
  • Can you offer exclusivity in some way? For example, you’re the only operator that offers peddle-powered kayaks in your area.

Talk to Those Closest To Your Business

If you run a business in a popular area with many competitors it can be harder to find stand-out USPs. Talk to your staff, regular customers, and even friends and family about your USPs. They may see your business from a different angle.

Pro Tip: Look to your mission statement or company purpose for inspiration. If you don’t already have one, crafting a mission statement is a great way to start thinking about your USPs.


Determine USPs For Individual Activities

If you’re struggling to land on a USP for your company as a whole, it can be easier to focus on your individual activities first, and use those USPs as inspiration for your company-level points. Plus, you can use activity USPs on your tour and activity pages and tour itineraries.

USPs are a key part of writing an activity description that sells! Pairing USPs with an icon or listing them in a “Quick Details” section gets your points across quickly and emphasizes what’s really important.

Here are some examples of USPs specific to tours and activities:

  • Visit five historic landmarks in one tour.
  • Summit the tallest mountain in Vermont.
  • Kids attend for free in this family-focused cooking class.

When identifying your USPs (whether on the activity level or for your business as whole), anything that makes the experience stand out is up for grabs.

Marketing Your USPs

Communicating both your activity-specific USPs as well as your business’s USPs is essential to your branding strategy. Your staff should be clear as to what your USPs are and how they should talk about them with customers. If you aren’t sure about branding it’s time to brush up on Branding 101 to ensure you are presenting a consistent brand identity.

Online, you can use icons or logos to help your USPs stand out on your webpages. Burying them in large blocks of text won’t accomplish much. If your USPs require a bit more of an explanation try writing them into an “About Us” section on your homepage.

Another great place to implement your USPs is right into your Google My Business Attributes. This is a great way to stand out on the search engine results page and increase your chances of showing up in the local map pack.

Reflect on What Makes Your Business Unique

We know it might seem hard at first, but by spending some time reflecting on what your business stands for, we’re sure you can identify some great USPs. Consider looking back to the early days of your operation and reflecting on why you got started in the first place and what made you successful. 

For businesses with established USPs, take some time to determine whether there are new ones you should highlight or if they have changed in any way. As your business grows and changes, you can use these opportunities to inspire your staff and draw in new customers.

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